Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. (John Donne, Holy Sonnets
The first quatrain of this sonnet hangs on the wall in our lounge room, it is the most beautiful expression of a prayer that I feel I am constantly praying.
I’ve been thinking a lot about faith over the past few months, thinking about the role of faith in the knowledge of God, the relationship of faith between God and human as that which constitutes the particular nature of Christian subjectivity, the role of the ‘faith of Christ’ in Christian redemption. and on and on.
There is something in the concept of ‘faith’ that captures the heart of what it means to be human.
What does that make me then, in my faithlessness?
I can only pray that God will give me to myself, that he will batter my heart.
and this is not from ourselves; it is Godâ€™s gift
Wherever we might begin, we only continue in the knowledge of God as faith seeks faith.